Eminent baseball journalist and broadcaster Peter Gammons has sworn before a grand jury that he has never taken steroids or HGH in his long and distinguished career.
The 62 year-old Gammons was one of the names listed on the expose known as the Mitchell Report, which names and shames those who are alleged to have taken performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, but the writer has strongly denied any wrongdoing:
"I am here to make it very clear", began an emotional Gammons. "That I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period.
But his editor Brian MacNamee insists that he injected Gammons in the ass:
"He said he was losing his power and injuries were catching up with him. He said his thumb was really sore from writing and that he really needed to keep ahead of journalistic young guns like Jay Mariotti, Rob Neyer and Bill Simmons. He was begging, so I told him to drop his pants and that I'd give him a shot. I don't know if you've ever inserted a needle into an old man's ass, but it ain't pretty, I'll tell you that much."
Once a shoe-in for the sports writer's Hall Of Fame, these recent developments have forced many to question Gammon's eligibility and re-examine his numbers with suspicion:
"If you look at his output", began baseball statistician Bill James. "You'll see that he went from producing 120 AR (articles) a year, before we see a massive leap in production during what should have been the downside of his career. A jump from 120 AR to a record-breaking 665 AR a year is suspicious for a man his age, to say the least".
The fan who caught the pen with which Gammons wrote his record-breaking fifty thousandth baseball column (after the journalist had thrown it away), says he doesn't want to keep the treasured item:
"It's tainted", said a teary-eyed ex-Gammons fan. "The record isn't legit. Jose Canseco was right. The guy's a cheat, and a liar.
"I want an asterisk next to his name."
However, a spokesman for The Baseball Writers Association Of America defended the veteran in a statement yesterday:
"Listen, plenty of journalists during that era were juiced up. Look at that nutter Woody Paige. Have you ever read one of his columns? The guy's obviously taking something-and it ain't good."